New York Times | April 25, 2016 | By: Erica Goode

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PORTLAND, Ore. - The 911 caller had reported a man with a samurai sword lunging at people on the waterfront.

It was evening, and when the police arrived, they saw the man pacing the beach and called to him.  He responded by throwing a rock at the embankment where they stood.

They shouted to him from a sheriff's boat; he threw another rock.  They told him to drop the sword; he said he would kill them.  He started to leave the beach, and after warning him, they shot him in the leg with a beanbag gun.  He turned back, still carrying the four-foot blade.

In another city - or in Portland itself not that long ago - the next step would almost certainly have been a direct confrontation and, had the man not put down the weapon, the use of lethal force....

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